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here are the risks for your health

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Even though we eat toast almost every day, it may contain a particularly harmful compound. Explanations.

Every morning you probably eat toast with butter, jam or both. Although this habit does not seem to have anything bad, overly grilled food can nevertheless pose risks to our health. Indeed, according to our colleagues at Our timeit contains acrylamide, “a chemical substance that forms when starchy products are cooked at high temperatures”. This is potentially carcinogenic.

How can we explain that toast can become toxic?

As It interests me explains, heating bread produces this substance. “Acrylamide results from a chemical reaction between certain sugars (glucose, fructose, starch) and amino acids making up proteins when they are heated together”, explains the magazine. This is called the Maillard reaction, which occurs either in dry cooking, such as grilling, baking or pan-frying, or in frying.

However, you should know that it is the temperature that increases the acrylamide content. It is therefore absolutely necessary to avoid eating overly toasted bread, and preferably not to exceed 220°C during cooking. According to the British Food Safety Agency, it is strongly recommended to eat bread when it is golden brown.

burnt bread

Copyright: Shutterstock

According to EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), “Toasting bread for five minutes instead of three minutes can increase the acrylamide content from 31μg/kg to 118μg/kg, depending on the type of bread and the temperature of the toaster. However, the consumption of well-toasted bread only increases the overall average dietary exposure by 2.4%..

Other foods produce acrylamide

Unfortunately, our dear bread Grilled food isn’t the only thing that produces acrylamide when overcooked. This also concerns other foods such as fries, biscuits or even black coffee. “According to EFSA figures, coffee is responsible for around 34% of the daily quantity of acrylamide ingested by adults through food”explains the Belgian Cancer Foundation.

“It was also discovered, in 2002, that this substance is formed in foods rich in starch and asparagine when cooked at a temperature above 120°C,” can we read on the ANSES website. For several years, researchers have continued to mobilize against this compound, hoping to succeed in ensuring that it is less present in our food.

In the meantime, there are some methods to minimize exposure to acrylamide. Experts therefore advise monitoring the frying or cooking oil to avoid letting it overheat, not over-browning the products and not eating the darkest areas during cooking. “ANSES reminds that it is recommended to have a diversified and balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables and moderate in fatty and fried foods”as is written on its site.

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